The web’s already bursting with tales of GTA-loving teens running amuck and of contrasting reports about the impact of videogames on kids. But now a website’s launched that aims to help inform families about videogames.
FamilyGamer promises to help mum, dad and the kids “play videogames together in healthy, entertaining, imaginative and stimulating ways” by providing, amongst other things, jargon-free reviews of videogames.
The website uses several categorizations, including “dad gamer”, “mum gamer”, “twenties gamer” and even “gamer wife”.
Over 600 titles have already been reviewed and, in addition to outlining a title’s suitability, the website also features guides for choosing consoles and game genres.
Grand Theft Auto IV has already been covered. Here’s an extract: “This is a game that doesn't try to dumb down or clean up the realities of life in the city's underworld. This is an adult experience with the related themes of strong language, sex, violence and drugs”.
The review added that “Ironically though, it [GTA IV] is this gritty reality that makes it a beneficial and interesting game for families (with older kids) to engage with”.
Although videogame classifications awarded by the British Board of Film Classification or the Entertainment & Leisure Software Publishers Association hold a higher prestige, FamilyGamer could help calm critics who’ve argued that the classifications of both groups are difficult to understand and not detailed enough.
The FamilyGamer website has an annual membership fee of £25 ($37/€28). ®
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